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Grimaud Ancien Tdm - Collecting Question


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Hi, guys!


I've become obsessed with the specific shade of light teal used in the 1930 "fleur de lis" deck of the Paul Marteau-designed Ancien TdM, and this is where all my troubles start. :))


This deck comes with the distinct variant of having two red coins on the Magician's table instead of two yellow/black dice, as well as an 1890 French tax stamp, and especially a fleur de lis on the 4 of coins. There's a copy of the fleur-de-lis deck on Ebay right now, and you can see all these distinctions in it, along with the very high collector's price.



Here's a screenshot of this deck "in action", these colors, I love them so much.




The other vintage decks, the "tulip" decks, seem to have gradually phased this gorgeous teal into a royal and then later on a much darker blue. 


I have spent the past few hours falling down a rabbit hole of information about the Ancien TdM at the old AT.  A collector named Coredil started a thread to post about all their deck variants — and one specific deck in particular that they were trying to date, the "Deck 01" in their collection. "Deck 01" had a unique card back and seemed to maybe be circa 1930-1945? but there was never any consensus or definitive guess, the thread grew and so did the number of variants, and Coredil never did get the answer they were seeking about how old "Deck 01" was.


So now on Ebay, someone is selling an Ancien TdM variant that appears to be identical to Coredil's "Deck 01" — same coloring, tulip on the 4 of coins, and the same unusual card back. There's no original wrapping or box with this deck, though, and in addition to some discoloration at the edges, in the additional pictures they sent me there is some light pencil writing on some of the cards. 


There's also another deck variant, currently going for about $200 less on ebay, this one virtually spotless, and with the original wrapping. The seller claims this deck is from 1940 but from everything I can glean, it seems like this deck is closer to 1959, like this other ebay deck, and I'm honestly just not sure how to tell the date for sure.


All I care about in all of this is finding an affordable vintage deck that gets close to that gorgeous teal color of the 1930 deck! As far as I can tell, the first ebay deck, which may or may not be "Deck 01," seems to get closest. But the lack of wrapping and wear combined with the steep asking price makes me hesitant to commit.


Am I overthinking this? Will there be another deck along any day? Should I just give up and buy this photoreproduction of the 1930 fleur de lis deck instead?


Basically I just want someone wiser and more experienced to tell me what to do, here, or alternately tell me to do nothing, haha. Copying @gregory directly here because they fit that description and I believe they contributed to the original AT thread. :))

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I personally cant advise you on how to authenticate vintage TdM decks of that age. The first one you link to, for $512 does look like the oldest, and I'm the seller is nogotiable on the price. 

But if you have hesitation at that amount of money, then I would just say dont spend anything until your heart says "yes! This is it!"

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I was indeed in that thread.


The one at $298 doesn't look in any way teal. And there are two images showing the backs, of very different colours. Odd, that.


There is no way I could afford the first one you linked :classic_blink:  $3000 - I don't think so. But it is the only one that has no "Grimaud" on the faces of the cards. I think it's the real McCoy.


The UK one doesn't look teal either.


What is the most important thing for you - the teal or the fleur de lis ? I do have a fleur de lis one, but I can't check its personal details at the moment..

Edited by gregory
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can't speak about the specific deck, but first what is your focal point of buying?

Will you use it? If so I'd never buy an out of print (and 1940-1950 is way out of print) deck that was sealed. I've had decks come with missing cards, or more normally 2 of one card and not one of another. This isn't something you can address with the publisher, and as sealed and clearly offered that way I doubt you'd have a leg to stand on with PayPal, because once you'd unsealed it you couldn't return it in condition it was sold. 


If your point is to take the deck and put it on a shelf to complete a collection, then that would clear up some choices. 


I wish you the best with the hunt! I've had some passions in life the hunt was the best part, the finding was a bit of a let down. 

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Many of these “1930” decks on EBay are mislabelled, due to the date being inscribed on the 2 of Coins (and perhaps for various other reasons we won’t speculate on). But the tulip appears for the first time some time in the 1940s at any rate.


The deck you ought to track down is the Dusserre edition of Paul Marteau’s 1930 deck (i.e. the Grimaud).

Not available on Amazon US or UK, but still available on the French site: https://www.amazon.fr/Grimaud-Tarot-de-Marseille-Cartomancie/dp/B00005QRP1/

Have a look at this review here for pictures: http://eno-tarot.blogspot.com/2013/05/tarot-de-marseille-dusserre.html

Edit: just noticed you'd mentioned the Dusserre, but yes, it might be an idea to have a deck in hand to see how the colours play out "in the flesh." 

Edited by _R_
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Hi, everyone, thank you so much for the replies!


@gregory haha of course you have a fleur de lis deck that's now worth $3,000, congratulations! Please don't worry about checking the coloring, though I greatly appreciate the offer! I'm certain from every image I've ever seen of this deck that the color used in all of them is the light teal that was later swapped out for something darker. The teal color is more important than the specialness of the fleur-de-lis, to me, but they seem to go together. 


This point you make about how different the colors look from photo to photo has been super frustrating for me. I can't tell half the time whether the older tulip decks are really in a lighter blue or whether they just look that way in different lighting. I actually asked the seller of the $500 deck to send me extra photos of the cards in natural light so I could really be sure — but then she sent me the photos and they looked much darker. Sigh.


And yes, @_R_ I think a lot of the sellers claim their decks are dated 1930 because of the date stamp, without realizing that could mean the deck is dated anywhere from circa 1940 to i think 1973 or so. So that's an additional frustration.


the thing i care about most @AJ-ish/Sharyn is just the beauty of the deck. They're all beautiful, but i love the fleur-de-lis deck. Of course I'd never be able to afford or justify paying for a fleur-de-lis deck at the current going rate on ebay. So I was thinking I could try one of the older vintage tulip decks instead, because their colors seem to be lighter. But maybe @_R_ is right and the facsimile is the way to go. I can't help feeling, though, that the colors of the Duserre reproduction just seem flatter and less vibrant somehow.


Also, re: your note about "the hunt," it's funny you say that because my interest in this deck actually started with a giant hunt. Another user on this forum has a really eye-catching papesse image as her icon here, and I messaged her to ask her about it (because I was so drawn to that teal color!) and she didn't know what deck it was from, so I went on a giant internet searchfor it and found myself trawling google trying to figure out if it was a conver or a besancon or so on, and eventually figured out that it was from this rare fleur de lis deck! She has great taste!


then I would just say dont spend anything until your heart says "yes! This is it!"

This is always the ultimate best advice, thank you, @Eric 🙂

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If it's your monarchist leanings pushing (or pulling) you towards that deck, why not go for the double-whammy and find a pre-Marteau Arnoult (1890) or Grimaud (1891) deck - same line drawings, different colouration - with the fleur-de-lis on the base of the 2 of Cups as well as the 4 of Coins?



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Grimaud have just released a 90 year anniversary edition (ahead of next year, that is) of the original 1930 Tarot de Marseille published by Paul Marteau. It comes in a box set and seems to be already available.
See here for some images: https://cartamundi.fr/fr/press/grimaud-cartomancie-90-ans-tarot-de-marseille/
Available here (or elsewhere): https://www.amazon.fr/Coffret-Tarot-Marseille-Paul-Marteau/dp/B07W6CDT6G

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Oh, wow, thank you for the update! It seems like this recreation doesn't use the original lighter blue at all, hmm. It looks closer to all the post-1960 decks at a glance. And it doesn't have the light green in the magician's hat because it's not a fleur-de-lis reproduction. But then I couldn't afford one of those anyway ahaha, i will have to give this a serious think! Thank you!

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You are right, after Andy posted some pictures in another thread, it turns out that this deck is just the usual "second-edition" betuliped Marteau. 

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